Event Title

Parental Behavior and Child Temperament Predict Persistence Toward Goals

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Donna Nelson

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Honors Thesis Committee

Donna Nelson, Ph.D; Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.; Kathy Lyon, Ph.D.

Location

West Center, Room 219

Start Date

22-4-2016 3:15 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 3:30 PM

Description

Previous studies have discussed the importance of parent-child relationships and the potential impact that they could have on child outcomes. The purpose of this study was to expand the research investigating links between parental behavior and child well-being to explore the influence of parenting on a child’s persistence toward goals and his or her level of “grit,” defined as working strenuously toward challenges, and maintaining effort and interest long-term, despite adversity. We also sought to investigate the possibility that the child’s temperament may moderate the impact of parenting on child persistence and “grit.” We expected that children with highly emotional character would be at greatest risk for suffering unfavorable consequences if they experienced low levels of positive parental behavior. Nineteen male and 40 female undergraduate students participated in our study. Our findings suggest that the temperament of a child can moderate the impact of parental behaviors on child outcomes related to tenacity and dedication to long term goals. Participants low in emotionality reported comparable levels of persistence and “grit,” regardless of the type of parenting they experienced while growing up. In contrast, more emotional participants exhibited lower levels of perseverance as emerging adults if they experienced less support, encouragement and involvement from parents. These findings suggest that positive parenting educational programs would prove especially helpful for families that include highly emotional children.

Course Assignment

Thesis Research, HONR 450H, Donna Nelson

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Apr 22nd, 3:15 PM Apr 22nd, 3:30 PM

Parental Behavior and Child Temperament Predict Persistence Toward Goals

West Center, Room 219

Previous studies have discussed the importance of parent-child relationships and the potential impact that they could have on child outcomes. The purpose of this study was to expand the research investigating links between parental behavior and child well-being to explore the influence of parenting on a child’s persistence toward goals and his or her level of “grit,” defined as working strenuously toward challenges, and maintaining effort and interest long-term, despite adversity. We also sought to investigate the possibility that the child’s temperament may moderate the impact of parenting on child persistence and “grit.” We expected that children with highly emotional character would be at greatest risk for suffering unfavorable consequences if they experienced low levels of positive parental behavior. Nineteen male and 40 female undergraduate students participated in our study. Our findings suggest that the temperament of a child can moderate the impact of parental behaviors on child outcomes related to tenacity and dedication to long term goals. Participants low in emotionality reported comparable levels of persistence and “grit,” regardless of the type of parenting they experienced while growing up. In contrast, more emotional participants exhibited lower levels of perseverance as emerging adults if they experienced less support, encouragement and involvement from parents. These findings suggest that positive parenting educational programs would prove especially helpful for families that include highly emotional children.